Whether Masahiro Tanaka is coming to Major League Baseball or not, and the latest reports out of Japan indicate he will be forced to stay home, the Yankees are looking for a considerable contribution to the rotation from Michael Pineda. The large right-hander obtained from Seattle for Jesus Montero following the 2011 season, hasn’t thrown a pitch in the big leagues since then. He missed 2012 due to shoulder surgery, then started last season on the disabled list and was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Triple-A) in early July. Yet Brian Cashman, encouraged by the progress with the rehab program and reports out of Tampa that Pineda is in shape, is expecting Pineda, 25 in January, to contend for one of the two open spots in the rotation behind CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda. “He is coming to spring training to win a spot in the rotation,’’ the general manager said Thursday. “He is a viable option.’’ Even if the Rakuten Golden Eagles decide to post the 25-year-old Tanaka, the Yankees aren’t guaranteed to land the right-hander because multiple teams would likely bid the $20 million limit. Teams who bid the highest can then negotiate with the posted player. Of course, if Tanaka is not posted, the issue is dead. And with the Yankees acting allergic to free-agent starters Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Bronson Arroyo, there is a lot riding on Pineda.
Cashman hopeful Pineda will help fill still-hazy rotation
New York Post | Dec 20